The Macau authorities announced late on Friday that the city’s casinos are due to close before the weather bureau raises its storm signal to Number 9, which will happen at 11pm this Friday (September 1).
The information was disclosed in a Chief Executive dispatch published earlier in the day in the city’s official gazette.
Considering that Macau is under the influence of Typhoon Saola, and “in order to ensure the lives and property of residents,” the dispatch states that gaming venues in the city will have to “temporarily close” once the weather forecast “gives prior notice of the issuance of a tropical storm signal higher than Number 8”.
The Macau authorities are expected to advise later when the city’s casino operators might resume their respective gaming operations.
At lunchtime on Friday, Macau entered a so-called “state of immediate prevention”, activating a special civil protection structure.
Macau issued the Number 3 storm signal in the evening of Thursday, and upgraded it to Number 8 at 2pm this Friday. The Macau weather bureau said on Friday morning there was a “moderate” chance it would issue the highest tropical storm warning on the early hours of Saturday as Typhoon Saola approached the city.
The city has five levels of tropical storm warning. They range from 1 (the lowest and least intense) through to 3, 8, 9 and 10 (the highest and most dangerous).
The tropical storm is expected to be closest to Macau in the early hours of Saturday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.
Typhoon Saola is already disrupting travel and commerce in Macau, Hong Kong and in some southern parts of mainland China.
Land border crossings between Macau and the city of Zhuhai, in neighbouring Guangdong province, were closed this evening. The public shuttle bus service on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge had been suspended on Friday morning.
Ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau were suspended late on Thursday. The ferry service between Macau’s Inner Habour and the Wan Zai district in Zhuhai was suspended this Friday, and ferry services between Macau and Shenzhen, in mainland China, had already been halted on Thursday.
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